CarolinaEast Opens Vertical Expansion - Three New Floors to Provide Specialized Care for Kidney and Orthopedic Patients

Three years and 16 days after receiving permission from the State to add 37 additional beds to care for patients, CarolinaEast Health System is opening the doors of  two new patient care areas and an expansion with patients at the heart of the design.            
   “This is a long-awaited event – an accomplishment we hope our region is as proud of as we are,” said Ray Leggett, President and CEO of CarolinaEast Health System. “We are so very thankful for the support we have received from our community and the patience shown by our patients and visitors during the construction period. We realize there have been times of significant inconvenience, but I hope you agree the enhancement in our ability to provide our region with the highest quality care makes it all worth it. ”            
    The vertical expansion brings CarolinaEast Medical Center to five stories, 350 beds and eliminates all semi-private rooms except in care areas where having a roommate can be therapeutically beneficial. “Being able to do away with semi-private rooms is one of the most important outcomes of this project,” said Leggett.            
   The $24.6 million dollar expansion necessitated a series of events take place before the first brick was laid for the new floors. Relocation of many departments and the complete renovation of many existing patient care areas have also been part of the three year project. The new construction is home to a 19 bed Nephrology (Kidney Care) unit and The Center for Orthopedic and Total Joint Care, a 22 bed medical/surgical unit designed to meet the unique needs of orthopedic patients.            
   In total, 39,097 square feet have been renovated and 30,126 square feet added bringing the total square footage of the main building of CarolinaEast Medical Center to 438,266.            
   “I am very proud of our employees and appreciative of the quality work our contractors have done for us,” said Leslie Allen, Vice President of Facilities and Safety.  “It has been very evident throughout the project that everyone, from the bolt riveters and painters to the architects and Chief Executive Officers, has had a sincere understanding of the importance of this job. This incredible teamwork allows CarolinaEast to provide not only quality patient care, but efficient and focused care as well,” she added.            
   The new and renovated units incorporate the latest in patient care environment engineering. Communication, patient monitoring and staff tracking systems are among the advanced features which contribute to care enhancement. New patient beds, new furnishings and special attention to colors and fabrics make these areas seem less clinical and more comfortable. All artwork in the new patient care areas, rooms and public areas, are by North Carolina artists. “It is very important to us that the comfort level of our patients extend beyond just their clinical care and includes their surroundings,” explained Allen.            
   A ribbon cutting took place on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. Following a blessing of the expansion, guests enjoyed an Open House of the new areas.         
   “It feels very good to know that in this tenuous economic environment CarolinaEast is able to continue to expand to meet the region’s growing needs,” said Leggett. “For over 45 years our region has trusted us to care for their most precious of all possessions, their health. That trust is our greatest source of pride and gives us the needed strength to continue to care for another 45 years.”           
   The new units will welcome patients by the end of October.